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Falls can result in fractures, bruising, head injuries, and decreased quality of life in the elderly, and those who live in residential care facilities are at particular risk. Interventions to decrease falls in this population include fall-prevention training for staff, living space adjustments, exercise programs, hip protectors, patient education, and medications.

Metabolic syndrome is defined by the presence of 3 out of 5 metabolic risk factors: abdominal obesity, hypertension, high fasting blood sugar, high triglycerides, and low HDL-cholesterol. Patients with metabolic syndrome are susceptible to increased systemic inflammation and oxidative stress and are at an increased risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Vitamin D, a steroid hormone that helps to regulate calcium metabolism and immune function, may also play a role in neurological and psychiatric disorders. The 1α-hydroxylase enzyme, which activates vitamin D, as well as vitamin D receptors have been identified in the neurons and glial cells of the central nervous system. Animal studies have shown vitamin D deficiency to produce anatomic changes in brain development, and human studies suggest that vitamin D supplementation may benefit some psychiatric illnesses, such as major depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a disorder that affects women of reproductive age, is characterized by endocrine and metabolic abnormalities that include hormonal changes, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and ovulatory dysfunction. Hyperandrogenism, resulting from increased androgen production from the ovaries and adrenal glands, is a characteristic feature of PCOS. Anti-androgen medications and oral contraceptives are common treatments for women with PCOS. In vitro studies suggest that resveratrol may offer a natural alternative to medications to reduce androgen levels.

Cardiovascular disease results from complex variables, but certain biomarkers are generally recognized as indicators of cardiovascular risk. These biomarkers include serum lipid profiles, plasma fibrinogen, and blood pressure. These biomarkers reflect the body burden of oxidative stress and inflammation, which can be modulated by lifestyle and diet. Antioxidant phytonutrients from fruits, vegetables, and dietary supplements are one way to minimize oxidative stress, improve biomarkers, and reduce cardiovascular risk.

The idea that dietary cholesterol increases circulating cholesterol levels and the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) has been a topic of heated debate for decades. This theory has been justified by early epidemiological studies that reported correlations between cholesterol intake and CHD and by feeding trials of short duration that showed dietary cholesterol to moderately increase circulating total and LDL cholesterol levels. Until recent years, the American Heart Association and the Dietary Guidelines for America recommended that healthy adults limit dietary cholesterol intake to 300mg/day.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine condition associated with elevated insulin levels, impaired glucose metabolism, hormone imbalance, and dyslipidemia. Common in women of reproductive age, PCOS causes a number of symptoms, including irregular menstrual cycles, excessive hair growth, acne, and weight problems. In addition, PCOS increases risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), coronary heart disease, and endometrial cancer.

More than 150 million people in the world are affected by depression, and the personal and societal costs of the disease are devastating. By 2020, depression is expected to be the second most common disease worldwide, second only to cardiovascular disease.

The causes of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are complex and not entirely well understood, but one thing is certain: its effects are frustrating and debilitating. Characterized by insurmountable fatigue that lasts for six months or longer and can’t be attributed to another medical condition, CFS causes a host of life-disrupting symptoms. These can include muscle pain, difficulty sleeping (or sleeping too much), and cognitive problems. Many people with CFS experience a worsening of symptoms with exercise.

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. And, while treatments exist for it, many people do not respond fully to treatment. Prevention of depression has the potential to improve the health and quality of life of millions of people.

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